Blog Posts for Tag: Marketing

Teach Your Kids To Sell

Cindy Posted May 3, 2013
by Cindy

Inspired By Cookies:

I was a Brownie, Girl Guide, Pathfinder, and a Junior Leader - in total I spent 14 years of my life as an active member of the guiding organization. And during those 14 years I lugged around a fair share of girl guide cookies. Thus, when a couple of adorable girls sporting cute uniforms and enthusiastic smiles showed up on my doorstep toting these boxes of sweet nutritional death - I was compelled to buy two boxes.

Guides Selling Cookies

While conversing with these brilliant young ladies, I described my experience with selling cookies. I was never very good at selling - I probably only sold 10 - 20 boxes a year. (In my defense my home town only had about 16000 people. Not as many selling opportunities as there are in a city of over a million.) The young lady standing on my door step proudly stated that she sold 17 cases in a year.  17 cases! That's 204 boxes of cookies, $5 a box means that she made a total $1020 in sales - not bad for an 11 year old!

I expressed my surprise and told her that she must be a sales genius, to which she replied that the secret to selling was "hotspots!" She took a couple cases to her dad's work and a few other places where there were going to be numerous people who would be, like me, helpless against the forces of Girl Guides bearing nougat! Smart Girl!

Teach your kids to sell:

I thought about the skills that this young lady had employed and began thinking that selling cookies for guides, or chocolate bars for band, or raffle tickets for sporting events or any other fundraiser where your child needs to sell some product - offers a fantastic opportunity to teach kids the art of sales.

Here are some ideas and activities which will help you teach your kids to sell.

Identify the Target Market:

Sit down with your child and have a discussion, ask your child two questions 1) Who will buy this? 2) Why will they buy this? Write down a list of individuals/groups of people that would be interested in buying what they are selling and why they think that people will make a purchase. Here are some ideas for groups of people and their possible motivations:

Group Motivation
Family Members Want to be supportive
Co-workers Want to be supportive
Teachers

Want to be supportive to your child and want to make a difference in their community.

ex-members, athletes, etc.

They identify with your child and want to support an organization to which they once belonged./p>

 

Finding Hotspots:

What defines a "Hotspot"? A hotspot is a location where there will be a high density pocket of motivated buyers. The girl guide I spoke about went to her dad's work. An office full of supportive co-workers + her in uniform looking cuter than pie = cha ching!

The office is a good place to start, but there is also school. Get your child to talk to an administrator and see if it is possible to set up a booth in the cafeteria or if the child would be allowed to sell in the teacher's lounge (the teacher's lounge is a gold mine by the way).

Try to find an event that will bring a large group of ex-members to your child's organization together and set up a booth there. Some of these events could be a sporting event, rally, party, or a meeting.

Sales Pitch

Sales Pitch:

You could help your child create a sales presentation for his/her product. Take a look at the TrueSmarts Sales Pitch activity for ideas on how to create one. You child could present their pitch at a gathering, or for family members. Chances are the prospective buyers will be impressed with the extra effort he/she has put into selling their product and this might motivate them to make a bigger purchase.

Elevator Pitch:

If your child is going door to door or they are selling in a more fast paced situations they may want to create an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a two to three sentence synopsis of the use and advantages of the product they are selling. See TrueSmarts' Elevator Pitch activity for more complete instructions on how to create this type of sales pitch.

Advertising:

This might be a good way to have the buyers come to your child. Here are some advertising ideas that your child could use:

  • Create and distribute flyers: Prospective buyers need to know what the offering is and a date, time and location where they can buy. Kids could put these on school bulletin boards, or in coffee shops (as long as what you are selling is not for profit most coffee shops will let you advertise on a bulletin board or have flyers at the till)
  • If your child is selling door to door: Leave "sorry we missed you" flyers on potential customer's doors if they are not home. Detail what is being sold as well as where and when they would be able to make a purchase if they wanted to.
  • Your child could create and publish a simple website: Publishing an HTML page with a contact form for customers to place orders could be very effective. Flyer's or brochures should point back to their website.
  • Your child could create an e-mail campaign: Email would be an effective means to reach relatives or contacts who are out of you neighborhood or out of town. Your child might also be able to get a contact list with e-mail addresses for past members / athletes etc. from a leader or a coach).

 

Conclusion:

At some point or another your child will have to sell something to someone. Why not use these times as an opportunity to teach your kids to sell.

Comments (0)

Tags: Marketing  Interpersonal Intelligence  Communication 

 

Fall Business Ideas for Kids

Cindy Posted Sep 5, 2012
by Cindy

Fall is fast approaching and as kids gear up for another school year it might be a great idea to get them thinking about small business opportunities available in autumn.

Here are some great Fall business ideas for you and your children to consider:

Landscaping:

There are a myriad raking leavesof landscaping activities that need to be done in the fall and there is a crunch for homeowners to get small jobs finished around the yard before the snow flies. Landscaping and odd jobs that need to be done include:

  • raking and disposing of leaves
  • draining hose lines
  • planting bulbs (spring bulbs like tulips need to be planted in the fall)
  • painting or staining fences/decks/sheds
  • cleaning driveways/sidewalks

 

Your kids could go around the neighborhood and offer to complete these services for a fee. Better yet, they could create a fall landscaping company with teams of people to do landscaping chores. They could call or walk around the neighborhood and acquire a list of jobs that need to be done, book and assign landscaping jobs to each team and then take a portion of the profits from each completed job.

Baby-Sitting:

babysitting

Fall is the opportunity for sitters to get those wonderful (and lucrative) weekly babysitting gigs. Parents who enjoy playing sports or have regular events will hire a qualified sitter on a regular basis.

Though the best way to get babysitting jobs is to canvass family and friends, you can also achieve good results with free advertisements. Good places and ways to advertise include, putting your name on local babysitting lists (community centers often have these or community association newsletters have them), placing a flyer on a community bulletin board or mail box, or placing an ad on free classifieds like kijiji, craigslist or ebay classifieds.  

 

I always liked the idea of a babysitter's club or hotline. Kids could get a few of their friends together, advertise for jobs, assign sitters to jobs and collect a finder's fee or a portion of the sitter's profits for finding the position.

*Please see safety note below.

Event Planning:

rock bandSchool starting means that kids get the opportunity to catch up with friends and there is often a need for a reunion celebration. Kids could plan a dance, a play, a rock concert, a video screening, air-band competition, talent show, video-game tournament, or a sporting event (skateboard competition, football game, race etc.).

They could sell admission, concession items, t-shirts, glow in the dark wristbands etc. It could be immensely profitable and a great opportunity for them to reconnect with friends in a very memorable way!

For more details take a look at Truesmarts' host an event activity.

Warm Drinks at Events:

This is a spin on the traditional lemonade stand. Kids could arm themselves with a couple thermoses of coffee and/or hot chocolate and sell during those chilly outdoor sporting events. They could even set up a small snack stand and sell candy/chips/granola bars/coffee/hot chocolate and so on to loyal and hungry fans. They can get information on outdoor events from couches or league websites.   

Tutoring:

If your children are the type that enjoy learning and have an aptitude for English, Math, Social Studies or Science they may want to consider tutoring. Tutoring pays very well and there is always a need for it (especially around November when the first batch of report cards come out). Libraries, and Schools often have a list of tutors available and your child can post an add on free classified websites. 

*Please see safety note below.

Business Planning for Kids:

You may want to encourage your children to create a basic business plan before they embark on their start up. There is a great kid's business plan available in Advanced Kids Business.

What are your fall start-up ideas?

These are all fantastic ways for your kids to start the year off with a little cash in their pockets. Do you have any great fall start-up ideas?

 

 

*Safety Note: Anytime your child is operating a business where they need to go into someone's home it is prudent for you to thoroughly check out the situation. You will want to have a full name, phone number and address for the person who your child is working for and it is a good idea to pick your child up and drop them off for these types of jobs. You will also want to meet and speak with the adult in charge, just to make sure your child is in good hands. Also, make sure your child knows that if they are walking into a situation that makes them uncomfortable in anyway that they can decline the job. 

Comments (0)

Tags: Money  Marketing  Income  Customer Service  Goods and Services  Cash Flow  TrueSmarts Showcase 

 

Kid's Summer Start-Ups

Cindy Posted May 10, 2012
by Cindy

Summer is rapidly approaching. The weather is heating up and so is your kid's yearning for the latest summer fashion, gaming device, or technological advancement. It is the perfect time to help your kids start their very own summer business so they earn the money they need to buy the thing(s) they want.

What follows are some great ideas on how to help your child decide what summer business to start, plan for their business, implement their business and then analyze their business for greater success next time.

Kid Entrepreneur Raking Leaves

What Business Should They Start?

Summer offers a myriad of season specific start ups. Some examples could include any type of yard work, lawn mowing, gardening or neighborhood cleanup. Kids have two whole months off from school which opens up possibilities for child care, summer day camps and so on. With the nice weather comes hot opportunities for outdoor events and entertainment. Kids could plan and host an event like an outdoor movie, theatrical production, concert, or a skateboard competition.

Don't neglect the old standby - Lemonade Stands! These can be particularly effective if you get your kids to set their stand up near an outdoor sporting event on a hot day! You could also help your kids to put a new spin on an old favorite. Some ways they could accomplish this include: strapping on some roller-blades and offering a delivery service, offering a 2 for 1 deal or coupon, or giving a portion of their proceeds to charity.

If none of these are to your child's liking then use the Discover Your Business worksheet from TrueSmarts.com's Advanced Kid Business activity. This worksheet will help your child use his or her own interests and talents to devise a start up which is tailor made for your child.

How Should Your Child Plan?

I don't think that you need to sit your child down and make him or her crazy with executive summaries and marketing reports, but it is a great idea to have your child complete a basic plan for his or her business. You can make it as simple as answering the following:

    1. What are you doing?
    2. When are you doing it?
    3. How will you get the materials you need?
    4. How much will you charge?

 

A thorough answer to all of the above questions will give your kids the bare bones basics for planning their business.

If you would like your child to do a little more planning for their small business. There is a kid's business planning worksheet in the Advanced Kids Business activity called Plan Your Business. Though simplified, these worksheets will help your child create a complete and comprehensive plan for starting his or her business.

How Should Your Child Analyze The Results?

Once your kids have created and run a small business, take some time to perform a retrospective with them. A retrospective could be as simple as a discussion of how their experience went, whether or not they made a profit, if the experience was what they had anticipated and what they learned or would do differently the next time.

If your kids have started one or two smalls businesses in the past you may want to get a little more involved with the analysis portion of your child's business. Take a look at the Analyze and Improve Your Business section of the Advanced Kids Business activity which includes a simplified excel Balance Sheet and Income Statement. This is a great way for your child to begin thinking about how to maximize his or her profits, decide if there was anything to do differently next time, and reflect on his or her experience.

Reward Their Efforts

Regardless of how successful your kid's business was, you should reward their efforts. Positive feedback is an incredibly powerful reward for kids. A simple, "I am so proud that you started up your own business", goes a very long way!

You could also have a tangible reward. Some ideas for a reward could include: an outing to a favorite restaurant, an afternoon doing a favorite activity, getting to pick the movie on movie night, or you could create a small photo album with pictures from the day they ran their business.

Anything that you can do to create a positive memory around creating a business will drastically increase the likely-hood that your child will try to do it again. If you want to foster the courage, ability, and desire to become an entrepreneur in your children, make sure that you take the time to reward any and all efforts your child makes in this direction.

Every Journey Starts With a Single Step

Starting a summer business is a fantastic way for your kids to learn how to assess neighborhood needs, assess their skills and talents, plan a business, advertise, provide a service, create cash flow, budget, analyze a business, and so much more.

It is also a wonderful way to help your kids to be confident, independent, community minded individuals with the daring to step out and take a risk.

 

Comments (0)

Tags: Calculated Risk  Expenses  Money  Marketing  Income  Interpersonal Intelligence  Planning  Intrapersonal Intelligence  Customer Service  Goods and Services  Cash Flow  TrueSmarts Showcase 

 

The Story Behind TrueSmarts.com - a Website to Enrich Kid's Financial Literacy, Leadership Skills, Emotional Intelligence and more

Rob Posted Apr 23, 2012
by Rob

 

In this inaugural blog post, I wanted to share the inspiration behind the site.

The idea for TrueSmarts.com came as a result of the intersection of two events in my life: choosing a school for my daughter and the reading of Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers.

Children building a house and having fun

Choosing the Perfect School

I have two kids, and the oldest was about to enter grade one. My wife and I were trying to decide which school we were going to enroll our daughter in. We needed to determine whether to continue with her current Montessori school, send her to  the public school that is walking distance from our house, or choose one of the many charter and private schools in our city.

It was this decision that caused me to ask myself the question "what knowledge and skills do I want my daughter to possess as a result of her education?" I was confident that any one of the schools would provide a quality foundation in reading, writing, mathematics, and the other subjects defined within a typical curriculum. However, as an entrepreneur, I started to reflect on the knowledge and skills that I currently possess that I wish I'd had a better grasp on as a child.  I then realized that regardless of what school option we chose, none of them would provide a comprehensive foundation in the knowledge and skills of the working world.

Knowledge and skills such as:

  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Leadership
  • Customer Service
  • Financial Management
  • Investing
  • Introspection
  • Business Ownership
  • and so many more that I have found invaluable!

 

The True Story of Success

The other event that occurred at the same time as this insight was the reading of Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers, The Story of Success. The book argues that success is not just about innate ability, but rather, ability combined with a number of key factors such as opportunity, meaningful hard work (10,000 hours to gain mastery), and your cultural legacy.

The Birth of TrueSmarts.com

In a moment of clarity, I realized that my wife and I could provide our kids with what I perceived as a meaningful advantage if we could actively cultivate knowledge and skills of the working world through opportunity and meaningful hard work.

I began searching the internet for anything that could help us in our new found mission. I quickly discovered that there is an incredible abundance of useful articles, games and resources for parents and children that touch upon the knowledge and skills that I was after.

But a new problem emerged: it was incredibly time consuming to locate relevant resources, evaluate their potential contribution, and then convert them into meaningful lessons or activities I could share with my children. I needed a mechanism to aggregate the content, and then quickly sort, categorize and filter what was important to me and my family. I needed a site which would provide quick access to impactful activities which would help me teach my kids key skills at opportune moments while keeping it fun. My wife and I also desired an active community of like-minded parents and children with whom we could pool our efforts . A forum where we could swap ideas about what approaches seem to work, other ways to approach a topic as well as to point us toward previously unknown books, videos, games or websites. But this kind of community was also nowhere to be seen.

After failing to find anything that came remotely close to fulfilling our needs, I decided to build a website to help not only my own family but other families that were  heading down the same path. Over the last 12 months, myself and the expert team I've assembled have been actively developing such a site.

I'm now very proud to lift the veil and finally announce the arrival of TrueSmarts.com. Through this site, we endeavour to enrich the entrepreneurial, financial, and business intelligence of children through games, crafts and other fun activities. Currently, the site has an ever-growing collection of activities presented in an easily digestible format. Activities are for kids and teens  aged 4 to 18, and each activity is categorized by age, type (craft, game, book, etc.) and tag (creativity, cash flow, communication, assets, stocks, time management, etc.).

Remember to check back with us because TrueSmarts.com is ever-evolving and in the near future we plan to roll out some very exciting enhancements.

Thanks for reading,

Rob

Comments (0)

Tags: Leadership  TrueSmarts Inspiration  Creativity  TrueSmarts Site News  Investing  Marketing  Customer Service